Prison Legal News v. Haley, Settlement, Alabama DOC Gift Subscription Censorship 2000
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IN 11IE UNITED 5.-a.~18 COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALA BAMA 6IMSf!r lIlIl~ PRISON I.EGAL NEWS, INC., and AYEN H . COTION , M 21 P b= 3b AR ) C~BR'" t'. :iA~ !\!:TT. HWDl[ OlS I Plaintiffs, CUI U.S. OISTIl IC,r,COUflT C1 AL A ) ) M ICH AEL l lALEY, Commissioner of the Alabama Departmen t o f Corrections, Defend an t. Case No. 99-D-486-N ) ) ) ) ) STIPULAn O N 1. The Plaintiffs challenge the Alabama De pa rtment of Corrections' (" £XX") policy prohibiting inma tes from receiving books, magaz ines, or newspapers unless they ha ve been paid fo r with funds fro m inm a tes' Priso n e r Money o n Depo s it ("P MOD") acco u n ts as viol ative of the First Amendment 10 th e United States Constitution . Under th e policy, inm a tes may not receive free publica tions o r gift publications purcha~d for them by fa mily members, friends, o r chari table organizations. The plaintiffs also challenge th e fa ilure o f the De fen dan t to pmvidt' due process guarantt>es to publishers whose publications are re jected as viola tive o f the Fo u rteen th Amendment to th e United States Cun:;ti tu tiun. Defen d an t H aley denies that th e challenged policies violate the Constitution. 2. In order to resolve this lawsui t, th e Defendant, on behalf of himsel f, h is agents and SUCCt:SSOfS, agrees to permi t inmates to receive fr ee and gift publications. The Defen d a nt agr~s to place the following language in th e DOC's Adm inistrative Regu lation #303 (" AR 303~ ): xm PUBU CATIONS A. Inmates may receive a limited number of p ublications - books, maguines, newspapers, book catalogues, and government pamphlets - so kmg as the p u blications are received directly from the p ublis her. Inma tes may recetve tree and ~ p ublkationsso long as they are ma iled directly from the p u bl isher a nd meet a U other secu rity and sp ac limi tat ion requirem e n ts lis ted below. If e a n in m ate p u rchases a publication, it mus t be pre-paid from the inm ate's Prison e rs Mon ey o n Depos it Accoun t (PMOD). Each Institu tiona l I lead w il l l'Slablish a s pecific limi t o n the n u mber o f publications each inmat e may receive. Th is limit will be based u po n space, St.-CUrity, fire, and o pera tio nal cons ide rat ions a nd o n ' capacity a n d s ize o f e ach institu tion' s ma il ha n d lin g faci lity. Different institu tio na llimils ma y be established fo r differen t jnmate based u pon C'U:ltocly , living space a$..'iignment, security, o r s ma int l"nimce of o rd pr. Howe ver, an inma b,o w ill not be allowed to recejve mo~ boob, m agazines and /or newspapers than he/she can safely store in a personal locker along wi th o the r authorized pos5CSSi0n5 . 3. !he Defendant also agrees to provide pub lbhe rs with notice and an opportunity to be heard if th eir publications are rejected by the DOC. The De fendan t agrees to p lace the folloWing la n guage in AR 303: H- The Facility Wa rd en or his / her designee shall provide th e publisher written n oti C(' of a re jected p ublica ti on wi thin five (5) wo rk in g d ays afte r th e T'l.'Ccip t of th e pub licatio n by th e ma il cle rk. Th e w rillen notice mus t (1) cle a rly sta te th e reaso n (s ) fo r the re je<;lion; (2) in fo rm th.. p ub lish e r o f its right to a p peal and; (3) ex plai n th a t th e publis he r may ob ta in indepen d en t re vie w o f th e rejec tio n by send ing its object ions to the Fa cili ty Wa rd en o r Depu ty Wa rden within tw enty (20) days of the receip t o f the rejection lette r. If the pub lishe r a ppeals in acco rd a nce w ith th is provision, a n indep<'"lldent reviewer consisting o f the Ward l"n o r Deputy Ward en shall review the rejected publication a n d the re ason fo r its e xclusio n and notify the p u b lisher of his or her decision with in twenty (20) days. 4. In the event o f a reje<t..-d p ublication, th e DOC will provide the p ublish<-'l' an d the inmate a ~Notificat ion o f Rejected Mail" form explaining th e 2 reasons for the rejection of the publication and their rights to appeal the rejection. A copy of the form is attached to this Stipulation as Attachmen t A. 5. The Defendant ag rees to explain the new provisions of AR 3<1.1 described in paragraphs 2 and 3, above, to all Wanhm s, correctional officers and mailroom personnel at all Alabama correctional facilities. 6. The Plaintiffs agree to waive their right tu seek fees and costs incurred in pursuing this lawsuit. 7. In light of the Defendant's ag reement to the provisions outlined in this Stipulation, the parties agree that the Plaintiffs' ch<lllenge to the Defendant's publications policy should be dismissed without prejudice. In the event that the Defendant breaches this Stipulation, the Plaintiffs may reinstate their sui t and/or enforce the Stipulation as a contract between the parties in State court. Stipulated and agreed to this J. 7/1.. day of March, 2000. Fo r the Pl aint iff s: _ Ca therine mith Rhonda Brownstein 1- Richard Cohen 400 Washington Ave. r.o. Box 2087 Montgomery, AL 36102-2087 (334) 264-0286 tfW illiam F. Addison Andrew W. Redd Alabama Dept. of Corrections P.O. Box 301501 Montgo m e ry, AL 36130(334) 353- 3885 Approved by the Court o~'i'! day of #""" tha.. c..£. ,,(QL .2000. ~o-t- UNiTE D STATES DTSTRICT JUDGE 3 NOTlFlCATIQN OF REJECTED MAn INSTIlUTION; . ~ FROM:-::::c:::=::c"''''=c:cInstitutional Mail Room _ DATE: , _ _ BED , TO; INMATE'-======crWDoiij;C==='rn.r:;,:==~ CFI './DORM AIS # _ CORRESPONDENCE/Pl)BllCATION: _ Date received at this institution: . This cot .espondeocelpublication is being returned to the lCIIder due to the fonowing reason(s): - Inma%e bas the option to return mall to send er at hWlJer own expense within 30 days or property will be destroyed. - Inmate has 72 hours from above date ofthill notice to protest thi! rerum by stating billlher rea.soM below and n:turning this fann to the! Mail Room. R~.m(~) CuT protest: P'ublisbc:r 1w120 days from receipt oftm.. notice to appeal this decision and obtain an ind~endent review ofthi, rejection by sending its objections to the warden of this hcility. Inmate Signature AIS# INMATBPROTEST DHNIED INMATE PROTEST UPHELD PUBLISfIER PROTEST DENIED PUBLISHER PRQTHST UPHELD Printed Name! Authorized Signature Printed Name! Authorized Signature Date Returned to Sender Date Returned to Imnate